The big kids on the block are starting to play in the sandbox. Amazon has been doing an amazing job at forwarding the "platform as service" model. Storage - check. Application hosting - check. Reporting - check. Bandwidth - check. Development tools - check.
And their latest foray - their publication of public census data and labor statistics. "The connection to real estate is clear" says Brian Boero of 1000Watt Consulting.
Data - check
Valuable content - ?? perhaps.
Let's take what Amazon has done and take a closer look: they have taken information that is already available - at no cost - to the public and consolidated it in one place.
Value = consolidation. If you want raw public data, have at it.
Value does not = actionable content. If you want clean, standardized, accurate and current content organized the way you need it...this isn't it.
Sure, we get a little defensive when people come play in our sandbox. But this is nothing new. Savvy developers and clients of ours have known all along that you can download raw census data from census.gov and raw employment data at bls.gov. Heck, we even tell folks to go there and check it out. We love it when clients perform due diligence at that level.
Yes - that's right - we'll point you to free resources that cover (at least some) of the same topics we do.
Crazy? We don't think so.
Why? Because nothing highlights the value of what Onboard does better than looking at raw sources. Try some of this with the free content:
- what are this year's statistics? (oh yeah, this census stuff is OLD)
- but i want information at the neighborhood level? heck I'll settle for zip codes and cities (well, you can have it for MSA's and counties only much of the time)
- these numbers can't be right...who do I call? (good luck on that one)
- how can I analyze how school performance, population growth, employment and home sale prices relate? (call Onboard i guess...)
If free, un-audited, un-normalized, non-standardized, generally out of data information were the best that could be done then Onboard wouldn't exist. There's a reason why CNN and US News come to us for statistics. There's a reason why real estate industry giants Move.com, all the Realogy brands and scores of brokers, portals, and analytics shops come to us: Onboard does data right. We turn raw information into content. We look at all the data anomalies and sort fact from fiction. We use advanced statistics and data modeling to create current year statistics, identify and handle outliers, provide information at every conceivable geography level, and normalize content across literally thousands of sources. And we have deep partnerships and relationships with those sources giving us direct access to support and information when we need it.
Best of all, we're experts at integrating all of that with what you do - be it listings, analysis, community pages, foreclosures...you name it and we're working with it. We know how to deliver it, how to support it, and will clearly state what the limitations of any content set are.
So, if you think you'd rather focus your time building your business, working with clients, marketing your products, and focusing on what differentiates your business - give us a call today.
Or maybe we'll here from you in a few months when frustration sets in....